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Comment: Wide gulf between basic programming and games (Score 1) 168

by peter303 (#49758405) Attached to: Video Games: Gateway To a Programming Career?
These days to do anything interesting with graphics or games you start with a fairly sophisticated graphic library or game engine. To learn programming you need to learn languages, data structures and algorithms. You don't get very far starting from scratch, although I think it is absolutely essentially to be proficient in the basics. A serious game developer needs to know a decent amount of humanities and the arts. You need to tell a 'story' an art millennia old. You need to learn literature, history and design.

Comment: Re:forever and ever? (Score 1) 378

by fermion (#49749979) Attached to: How Java Changed Programming Forever
Also think about Pascal. It too changed programming as it let a new generation of not very good coders generate applications. Who does Pascal now?

Not sure if Java is better or worse than Pascal. A similarity is that part of it's popularity is that it is a teaching language, perhaps more than a production language.

Comment: Re:It showed a lot (Score 1) 358

by bill_mcgonigle (#49747889) Attached to: What Was the Effect of Rand Paul's 10-Hour "Filibuster"?

Right - but you know who didn't show up? Bernie Sanders (S-VT). He claims to be a civil libertarian but couldn't bother to join the other Democrats who came to support the issue.

I think we know where his masters are on this issue - he's deep into the F-35 fighter jet fiasco; MIC is where his bread is buttered.

Comment: Re:Bring Back Background Play (Score 1) 60

Perhaps now they can bring back background play for mobile devices, so I don't have to stay on the youtube app to listen to music/podcasts/etc posted there.

This was the #1 most-requested feature on the YouTube app since it first appeared. Google *finally* released it - and it's the most expensive in-app purchase ever - you have to pay $120/yr to get it.

At the same time they changed the YouTube ToS to forbid third-party apps from providing the same functionality and aggressively started pursuing legal claims against the developers.

"Don't be Evil", 2015 skin.

Comment: Re:Not as easy to read as Python though (Score 1) 407

by TeknoHog (#49746655) Attached to: The Reason For Java's Staying Power: It's Easy To Read

Have you ever looked at the Fortran sections of CHARMM (MD package)? You want something hard to read that will make your head explode, go look at some of that mess! Not only is everything in CAPS there are space indents in the code and if you don't match those up, WHAMMO! error time!

I haven't had a look, but from your description I assume it's Fortran 77 (or even older, though that's unlikely). It's a good point, though; everything good I've said about Fortran refers to F90 or later. I agree that F77 is a mess and it lacks a lot of the modern niceties, for example with vector/matrix types (imagine writing auto-parallelized matrix math in the 1990s).

I'm pretty sure that all the bad things people generally say about Fortran are because they're only familiar with the horrible old versions. The change to F90 didn't exactly happen overnight with all the legacy code around; the only time I've worked with F77 was at CERN in 2001, but fortunately I got to write my part in F90, only using the legacy bits as reference for the data format.

Comment: Re:Not as easy to read as Python though (Score 2, Interesting) 407

by TeknoHog (#49742895) Attached to: The Reason For Java's Staying Power: It's Easy To Read

BTW, in case you haven't noticed, Python syntax is similar to Fortran syntax which is among the oldest, if not the oldest programming language still alive.

This. I think Fortran (and now Julia) strikes the best balance, because it doesn't have the tab/space issue that may produce problems, especially when sharing code. Like Python, it lacks the ugly {} ; punctuations, but it needs something to denote the end of a block, so it uses the English word "end" to keep things simple and clean.

Comment: Re: *Near* the south pole... (Score 1) 489

by bill_mcgonigle (#49740091) Attached to: The Brainteaser Elon Musk Asks New SpaceX Engineers

That's right. If the story is even true, the point is likely to see how you approach it, not if you get the exact distance right. If somebody grabbed paper and pencil to work out the math and I'd asked this question that would be a serious demerit - he didn't bother checking for requirements. That's the difference between being a competent thinker and a nerd - I don't suspect SpaceX runs on nerds.

The only perfect science is hind-sight.